- Director:Jaume Collet-Serra
- Cast:January Jones, Diane Kruger, Frank Langella, Liam Neeson
- Release Date:February 17, 2011
- Running time:113 minutes
- Film Worth:$12.00
- FILMINK rates movies out of $20 - the score indicates the amount we believe a ticket to the movie to be worth
While a solid thriller competently carried by Liam Neeson, it fails to elicit any real tension and feels formulaic at its core.
Judging from the trailer, you would be forgiven for thinking that Unknown was merely a retread of the Liam Neeson actioner Taken. Surprisingly, this is a film that takes the time to develop its mystery. Problem is what unfolds are often predictable reveals.
Neeson stars as Dr. Martin Harris, newly arrived in Berlin with wife Elizabeth by his side (the gorgeous January Jones) and a big presentation ahead of him. Plans are derailed when a near fatal car accident lands Martin in a coma. When he awakens from his slumber, Martin finds his identity has been stolen, leaving him wondering aimlessly through a strange city.
Yet help comes in the form of illegal immigrant Gina (Diane Kruger), and together they uncover a conspiracy involving...well, you will need to watch the film to get that answer. But like an irritating sense of déjà-vu, you would swear that you've seen this all before, as paranoid amnesiacs, European locales, and leather jacket clad hit men collide to make for a mildly entertaining thriller.
What saves Unknown from its repetitiveness is Liam Neeson. An old hat at these types of action films, Neeson takes charge from the opening scene, digging into his acting arsenal and delivering in the drama and action stakes.
Supporting turns are a mixed bag with Diane Kruger a tad over the top with her thick European draw, and Frank Langella too familiar with his "man who knows all" shtick, yet Bruno Ganz is at his engrossing best as an aging private detective.
Director Jaume Collet-Serra (Orphan) brings a slick feel to the proceedings, yet tension is not his strength here, and action scenes are shot way to close in the usual shaky cam manner, which has pestered action movies since Bourne went rogue almost a decade ago.
If conspiracy movies of any sort are your thing, then consider Unknown a familiar, yet solid, entry in the canon. For those who want some innovation to go with their thrills, then move along.